Thursday, January 5, 2012

Friends of HKS: Guest Blogger Series

 A city girl gone country, Andrea resides in a 150 year old Gothic Revival farmhouse with her husband, The Artist, and their children, The Glimmer Twins. When she isn't spending her time learning to make a homemade life or renovating her farmhouse, she enjoys watching her bees forage and listening to her rooster Elijah at 3am. 
 Three years ago, although it still seems like yesterday, the thought of country living wasn't much more than a far fetched dream. Then unexpectedly, we stumbled upon a farmhouse that beckoned us home and as we waited for our house to sell in the city, I felt like an expectant mother again. But this time, instead of folding baby clothes and choosing paint colours for the nursery, I was gleaning copies of Hobby Farm Home magazine from front to back.
 As we waited and waited that summer for the closing date and feeling odd about our lack of sentimentality for a house in the city we had dearly loved just months before, I discovered Barbara Kingsolver's; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Before I had finished the first chapter, I knew my reasons for moving to the country would grow beyond raising chickens and growing my own Christmas trees. I now yearned for a low mileage diet, a sustainable way of living. I wanted my journey on this earth to follow the hiker's credo 'pack in, pack out', in other words, leave nothing behind.
Eventually our house sold and as the months unfolded here at our old farmhouse, I started documenting those little things I loved about being here. My reasons for "Why I Moved to the Country" have varied from practical items like getting a clothesline installed (Reason #31) to more tongue in cheek reasons such as developing music tastes to suit time spent in idle weeding (Reason #81) and I'm not surprised when I discover new reasons to explain why this lifestyle ties my heart strings in a bow.
 What did surprise me was how a life lived in this place has connected me to nature. I don't necessarily mean enjoying nature through hiking or bird watching, or even being able to ski right outside our door; I've always enjoyed these kinds of activities. It's a different sort of connectedness, a realization that I am not part of two habitats, there is no inside and outside, all there is, is here. Spending entire days planting, or weeding, building an outbuilding, or skating on our pond, it doesn't really matter what the activity is but rather about being entirely caught up in every corner of this farm, from sunrise to darkness. Nature is no longer something that I can go and be a part of whenever I choose; I am nature. I am like the beaver who builds lodging for safety and food storage but my lodge remains a part of the outdoors.

So as the new year wipes our slates clean, we venture to the furthest corners of our habitat. Corners, I'm sure that oft feel ignored after a summer of planting, weeding and harvesting have occupied our hearts, hands and minds. But as we follow the familiar trails searching for signs of fellow dwellers in the snow we realize that no matter how long we are absent, we are always welcomed home.

And that, my friends, is why I moved to the country.


You can read more about Andrea's rural adventures over on her blog.


  1. Great post Andrea- Many thanks for your perspective on living rural! I truly love every inch of this here farm and can relate to this post. Farm living is part of my heart/soul and is who I am. I could never imagine being anywhere else. In fact we just spent a few days in Windsor and literally sped the whole way home just to feel like ourselves again! Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks again!!


  2. Hey Andrea,

    Such a great post! Thanks again for blogging for us! Your post made me want to pack up my city life and move to the country. But seriously, you capture life rurally so well. I think what many people don't realize is how much work goes into your lifestyle, I'm always amazed when I visit my sister and I see first hand how busy she ALWAYS is. It's definitely a lifestyle you couldn't do unless you truly love and live it!

    Best wishes for the new year!


    P.s I dream of someday having a clothesline.

  3. Awesome post. You are a great writer and i really enjoyed reading your story. i live in the city and would like to also move to the country so this is inspiring! have fun.

  4. You make me want to visit...even more!
    xo, misha


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